By Mohammad Shoeb | The Peninsula
Defying the ongoing siege imposed on Qatar, foreign investors and companies are showing increasing interest in the country to tap the thriving business opportunities in the booming Qatari economy.
Within the first hundred days of the ongoing blockade, over 250 companies have already started their operations with a significant number of them shifting from the UAE, one of the blockading countries, said a top official of Qatar Chamber.
“Over the last three months, more than 250 companies have already begun their operations in a wide range of sectors, including manufacturing industries, food and food processing, drugs, healthcare services, legal services, education, IT and IT-enabled services. And more than 100 of these newly-registered firms are from the UAE, that are shifting their operations from Dubai’s Jabel Ali Free Zone to Qatar,” Saleh Hamad Al Sharqi, Director-General of QC, said.
Saleh Hamad Al Sharqi, Director-General of QC said: “Every successive day we are transforming the challenges in to opportunities. In a way the siege has come as a blessing in disguise for the local economy, while the same has been proving as a double-whammy for the blockading countries as they are losing business opportunities and market share, in addition to a significant dent in the reputation of their economies in terms of investment destinations.”
Since the announcement of the blockade on June 5, Qatar has been witnessing a remarkable steady growth in the number of new firms registering in the country.
According to official data, Qatar saw the registration of 1,766 new companies during August 2017, witnessing a double-digit growth of over 11 percent compared to 1,590 new firms registered during the previous month (July 2017).
The Director-General of QC, the country’s oldest and largest private industry representative body, highlighted that governments firm commitment about the ongoing massive scale of investments and expenditures on mega infrastructure projects and other developmental activities in the run up to 2022 Fifa games and Qatar National Vision 2030, the country has come under the spot light of global investors.
He noted that the constant improvement in business-friendly environment and legislative changes, has also helped Qatar in a big to to emerge as one of the most favourite investment destinations for companies.
“My phone is flooded with enquiry calls from companies and individual investors from all corner the world who are willing to invest and establish businesses in Qatar,” Al Sharqi added.
“With the opening of the new port (Hamad Port) and rapidly expanding Qatar Airways and Hamad International Airport, Qatar has been attracting companies from all over the world, especially from Turkey, Pakistan, Azerbaijan, India, Kuwait, Oman, and scores of others.”
Al Sharqi reiterated that the illegal siege against Qatar has proved self-destructive for the blockading countries. In the one hand business in those countries have lost market access to the Qatari economy, and on the other, Qatar has explored new import and export destinations which are more consistent, reliable and cost efficient.
“Look the number of options an ordinary consumer in Qatar enjoys today. Take the example of some food items such as tomatoes, chicken, milk and other dairy products… We have some 16 varieties of tomatoes at varying prices suitable to all segments of people. Similarly, we have much better milk and dairy products coming from the UK, Belgium, Iran, Kuwait, India, Oman and scores of other countries, in addition to fresh milk and dairy products produced by local firms” noted Al Sharqi.